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Everything You Should Know About Green Card Renewal

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Published on November 19th, 2018

It is critical to renew your current Green Card every 10 years by filling a Form I-90 before it expires.

Either you should do all the due diligence on your own or get the services of for your Green Card renewal.

Green Card Renewal

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You need to fill a form I-90 every 10 years to renew your green card before the current one expires. However, the Green Card holders cannot fill this form before a time frame of six months prior to its expiration. The provision exists to fill this form online but the supporting documents must be snail mailed to the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Green cards are recognized as the authentic legit documents to enjoy the status of permanent resident.

The importance of a Green Card renewal is underscored by several advantages including eligibility for employment and a hassle free international travel. The older cards that are yet to expire, according to the USCIS recommendation, must be replaced with a Form I-90. In response to the completed Form I-90, in the next two to three weeks, the applicants receive a Notice of Action or Form I-797.

The Importance of a Green Card Renewal

There are several reasons for the importance of the Form I-90, that is, the application to replace the old Green Card:

1. Employment Eligibility Proof

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When applying for a job, a Green Card holder must fill out an I-9. This document establishes legality and identity to work in the U.S., in addition to a driver’s license or a passport. These documents are mandatory under the “List A” requirements. If a Green Card expires, it cannot be accepted. A valid Green Card is also needed for permanent citizens, if they are applying in careers like real estate, insurance, and nursing.


2. International and Domestic Travels

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Airlines usually do not allow someone with an expired Green Card to travel. Alternatively, they require a Form I-797, just in case they do. This form is the evidence that the traveler has sent his application with the Form I-90 from a Green Card renewal. A Green Card is also needed for someone re-entering the country from abroad. It is a proof of permanent residency that Border Protection and Customs require. Without either of these documents, the entry to the country is denied. In the absence of the documents, the expired card holder may be subjected to fee of $585 towards re-entry fee.


3. Home Purchase

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Just as the U.S. citizens get a mortgage, so do the permanent residents including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and FHA home loans. However, the lenders will establish your credentials during the application process with a Social Security number and photocopy of the Green Card.


4. Driver’s License Renewal

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In order to issue a new driver’s license, most states will need residence proof and legal status of the applicant. Driving privileges may be denied to someone whose Green Card has expired until the new Green Card is issued. However, a temporary stamp I-551 may likely work. Nevertheless, Green Card holders will do well to check with the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) of their state.

These perks are not easily available aliens or permanent residents whose Green Cards have expired. The expiration of the Green Card does not amount to the loss of the status of permanent resident.

The Green Cards come under the jurisdiction of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Under Section 264 of this Act, a Green Card is provided under the law to each U.S. citizen. It also requires all immigrants over age 18 to carry their Green Cards always. The failure to do so may likely fall under misdemeanor under the Act. It is a different issue that the U.S. government is not quite strict in its enforcement.

While waiting for a new card, you may need to ascertain your status for which you will need to schedule a meeting using Infopass, with the USCIS. Until the arrival of your renewed Green Card, your passport will get an I-551 stamp giving you the license to travel internationally and to apply to a job.


Filing the Application for a Green Card

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You will need to fill in the Form I-90 to get a new Green Card. It may be submitted online or via mail. The payment for the application fee of $540 may be made instantly online using Discover Card, Visa, Master Card or American Express.

If sending the application form via snail mail (U.S. Postal Service), you need to send it to the following address:

Attention: I-90
PO Box 21262
Phoenix, AZ 85036

Alternatively, the following address may be used for courier services and express mail:

Attention: I-90
1820 E. Skyharbor Circle S Floor 1
Phoenix, AZ 85034

The offline submission of the Form I-90 must be accompanied with a money order or a cashier’s check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In order to escape the check getting void, you must not abbreviate this name.

Information Required Under Form I-90

The following must be included when filing the I-90 Form:

  • Your legal name
  • Your U.S. address
  • Date, place, and country of birth
  • Your SSN
  • Your class of admission
  • Your date of admission
  • Reason for making this application (For an expiring card, check “Box F”; for an old card that is yet to expire check “Box J”).
  • Name of your parents
  • The USCIS office or the consulate that issued the immigration visa
  • Your city of residence
  • A copy of the Green Card that is going to expire

Reasons For the Renewal of Your Green Card

There could be several reasons for getting your Green Card renewed including the following:

  • Your card is lost or stolen
  • Your card is destroyed, illegible or mutilated
  • Your card has incorrect information such as date of birth, country of birth, name etc.
  • You did not receive your card in mail
  • You changed your name because of your marriage or other legal reasons
  • You turned 14. A Green Card holder under 14 must get a new card by 14, no matter how long you have had it.
  • Your card is going to expire within six months
  • You are looking for an employment
  • You are reentering the country from an offshore location
  • You have an old Green Card. The Green Cards issued before 1989 did not have an expiry date. They could be used for the purpose of employment. There could be a likely problem with the old photo of the card holder who appears quite unlike the old photo. A new Green Card for re-entry to the country be required by the Global Entry (GE) kiosks. A form I-90 should be immediately filed by the permanent residents that still have old Green cards of 1979 to 1988 vintage.